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Officer accepts lieutenant post
By KIM RING Staff writer
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BRIMFIELD - A Charlton police officer who was passed over for the Brimfield police chief's job will pin on a gold badge as the department's second in command. William Beaudry of Paxton was named as lieutenant with a unanimous vote of the Board of Selectmen, who also agreed to increase the salary for the job by about $4.50 per hour.
Chief Charles T. Kuss said he'd discussed the position with Beaudry who was receptive and agreed to accept the post. He said Beaudry, who was a finalist for the chief's job, has talent and offered to help out when he wasn't named chief.
"He complements me," Kuss said. "When I go fishing in the talent pool, I would start at the deep end."
Kuss said he'd like to see the salary for the part-time post increased to $18 per hour. The former lieutenant, Earl J. Dessert, was paid about $13.50, Kuss said.
"I'd like to be able to pay the man enough to be respectable," Kuss said.
While she initially called the proposed number "a little high," Selectman Diane Panaccione later voted for the increase.
Selectmen said the money that's been saved since the town's full complement of officers was not reappointed June 30 could be used to pay the increase. While the town is facing a budget deficit and finance committee members had hoped to take back some funding from the police department, selectmen said they'd like to leave that budget alone.
"We're not cutting the budget, per se," Finance Committee chairman Norman Silberman said. "We're trying to retrieve what has not been spent."
Meanwhile, the former officers who contend they were let go because of union activities, said the appointment leaves them frustrated. Some of the officers are collecting unemployment as they wait to be reinterviewed for their old jobs.
Brimfield Police Association president Charles H. Laperle said the appointment is insulting to Dessert.
"We consider Earl a part of our association and if Mr. Beaudry accepts this position, he's essentially crossing the picket line," Laperle said. "Mr. Beaudry was a great candidate for chief, but Earl is a town resident and was a finalist for the chief's position, yet he wasn't given his job back."

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Why is MassCop member accepting Brimfield position?

Chief's lack of full powers stymies appointments

Brimfield appointments are stymied

James F. Russell

BRIMFIELD- Restaffing the Police Department has been delayed.

Police Chief Charles T. Kuss is not yet certified to complete criminal background checks on potential officers. Selectmen voted in July to require public safety personnel to undergo Criminal Offender Record Information checks as a condition of employment.

Speaking outside of the Great Hall during last night's selectmen's meeting, Chief Kuss, who was appointed Aug. 4, said, "I have not yet interviewed any (potential) officers; hopefully, within a matter of days, I will be certified to run the CORI checks myself."

The town, without a police force for nearly three months, should have a "fully staffed department before the end of the year," said Chief Kuss.

Delays in appointing officers are "the result of delays in obtaining the criminal background checks," Selectman Diane M. Panaccione said yesterday.

Selectmen told the 16 former officers, who were not reappointed when their annual terms expired June 30, to hand in their badges July 3 on the advice of town counsel. They have reapplied for their former positions.

In addition to not being eligible to oversee the CORI checks, Chief Kuss said on Sept. 2 he could not make an arrest until the state Executive Office of Public Safety certified his 20 years of police experience and training in Boynton Beach, Fla., where he was a senior sergeant before retiring in April 2002.

"I think it (the certification process) was more extensive than what we expected," Selectman Carol M. DelNegro said before last night's meeting. "I went into it assuming he could be appointed with full police powers but I don't see that as an issue."

Selectman Chairman Robert C. Cheney said in an interview earlier this month the chief's job specifications require full police powers, while stressing the primary role is administrative.

"Brimfield is the appointing authority," noted Mr. Cheney.

Contacted yesterday, Richard J. Foley, secretary-treasurer of the Teamsters Local 170, said it is "ironic the individual responsible for examining the backgrounds of police officers in Brimfield is himself not fully certified." :BE:
The dismissed officers voted unanimously in April to join Local 170, and insist their non-reappointment is tantamount to union busting.

Selectmen, who did not recognize the April election, say it is their prerogative to unionize.

Officials in Belchertown and Warren said on Sept. 5 they were not aware Chief Kuss could not fully exercise police powers when the two towns appointed a police chief last December. Chief Kuss was a finalist in both towns.

The restaffing of the Police Department inched forward last night when selectmen appointed William J. Beaudry as lieutenant.

Mr. Beaudry was one of two finalists for the chief's position in Brimfield, and is currently an officer in Charlton. He was required to undergo a criminal background check as a condition of eligibility for the Brimfield chief's position.

Charles H. Laperle, one of the dismissed Brimfield officers and president of the Brimfield Police Association, said last night, "Although we were looking forward to Mr. Beaudry being chief, we implore him to refuse the lieutenant position because one of our association members, former Lt. Earl J. Dessert, was in that position and hoped to reclaim it. If Mr. Beaudry accepts the job we would consider that he has turned his back on his police brothers and sisters."
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